Salicylic acid improves the tolerance of olive trees against the Mediterranean adverse summer conditions Conference Paper uri icon


  • Doctoral fellowship under the Doctoral Program “Agricultural Production Chains – from fork to farm” (PD/00122/2012) provided by the FCT-Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology to C. Brito (PD/BD/52543/2014). Institution CITAB, for its financial support through the European Investment Funds by FEDER/COMPETE/POCI– Operational Competitiveness and Internationalization Program, under Project POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006958 and National Funds by FCT - Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, under the project UID/AGR/04033/2013.
  • The projected climate changes in the Mediterranean region, that include low rainfall, excessive heat load and high daily irradiance, are of utmost relevance for rainfed olive orchards, since are expected negative consequences on physiology, growth, productivity and quality. In this sense, agronomic strategies may be implemented to offset those negative effects. Rainfed young olive trees (Olea europaea L.) cv. Cobrançosa were sprayed with 100 􀁐M salicylic acid (SA), a signaling phytohormone with diverse regulatory roles in abiotic stresses responses. The results demonstrate that SA influenced positively the leaf water status, stomatal conductance and photosynthetic capacity of rainfed trees. The protective action of SA is associated with the induction of some stress tolerance indicators, as the increase in soluble proteins and ascorbate concentrations, and the improvement of plant nutritional status. This more comfortable conditions during the summer period allowed a faster restauration of the physiological functions in the early autumn. Finally, the sprayed plants exhibited higher yields than the control ones. In summary, SA seems to be an efficient strategy to improve olive tree tolerance against the adverse summer conditions of Mediterranean region.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017